East Coast Bays Summer Sevens
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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
That hoary old chestnut “Game of Two Halves”, proved to be an apt description of the opening game of the season with Bays dominating the first half, taking a deserved 2-0 lead into the break, only for Birkenhead to turn the tables after half time.
Herve Kadiya made a good block early in the game to stop a Birkenhead foray and a ninth minute collision saw Bays keeper Michael Williams left prone after a clearance. After attention, he carried on despite having a broken nose.
At the other end of the park, Andrew Mobberley was first foiled by Christian Gray and then denied by a great save by Danny Robinson following a fine cross from John White.
Bays continued to press and both Dylan Stansfield and Dillon Barnett had chances blocked before Mobberley finished off a great move involving several players to give Bays a deserved lead in the 17th minute.
Kadiya was forced off the field with an injury after a tackle.
Six minutes later it was 2-0 as Mobberley put away a Barnett cross giving Robinson no chance.
Bays dominated the remainder of the half, creating chances but failing to add to the score.
During the half time break the team were warned the Birkenhead would come at them all guns blazing and so it proved, as Williams pulled off a great save two minutes into the half.
Birkenhead continued to press and pulled a goal back in the 50th minute following a great run from Thomas Boss and an even better finish.
Bays countered but Robinson saved well under pressure but his clearance found Boss who again set off on a run towards goal only to be fouled by Nate Canton inside the penalty area. Canton saw a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity, Ethan Galbraith equalised from the penalty and Bays were down to ten.
Boss then missed a great opportunity following a great run by Godwin Darkwa.
Birkenhead were taking advantage of the extra player putting the Bays defence under immense pressure. White cleared a shot off the line, Williams saved from Godwin Darkwa and Joe Bresnahan blocked another attack.
Then as play moved into the last ten minutes, Daniel Mulholland scrambled the ball over the line to give Birkenhead the lead. Bays kicked off, lost the ball and Godwin Darkwa had made it 4-2 with eight minutes to go.
An anxious Bays fought back. Zane Olla smashed a shot into the side netting with Robinson beaten, Dylan Stansfield pulled one back with four minutes to go and Bays threw everything they could at Birkenhead.
A Judd Baker cross in stoppage time rolled across the goal with not one player from either side able to get a touch on but time ran out.
Encouraging signs for the season with a stand out performance from 17 year old Michael Williams in goal, playing only his second game for the Premiers.
Team: Williams, Kadiya (Canton 19), Solomons, Kolston (Baker 72), White, Damon (Olla 54), Bresnahan, McKeown, Barnett, Stansfield, Mobberley
Goals: Mobberley 17,23, Stansfield 86